We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie Torossian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marie, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I would say that most are unaware the Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are the “Surgeons for business”! What do I mean by that? CPAs are accountants who have gone through extensive education and experience. They have to pass the Uniform CPA exam (similar to the Bar exam for lawyers or Medical Licensing exam for doctors). They are also required to meet a certain number of continuing education credits (based on their state) to keep their licenses active. As public servants, we are bound to the highest ethical standards! Most CPAs are known as the “number crunchers” and “tax filers,” but we are more than just that! For example, if a business wants to borrow money or is going through an IPO, they call on CPAs to attest to their financials being accurate and reliable for investors. CPAs provide comfort to investors and shareholders. CPAs are called upon as fraud examiners relied upon by attorneys and judges. CPAs who investigate fraud go through additional training and are licensed as Certified Fraud Examiners! In other instances, CPAs who transition to the corporate world become Chief Financial Officers or Chief Administration Officers who are trusted with the strategic growth of the companies they serve. They manage the company’s cash flow plans, forecast growth, analyze financial strengths and weaknesses, and much more. I started my career as an auditor at Berkowitz Pollack and Brant CPA Firm, then transitioned to corporate accounting and became Chief Administration Officer for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. I lead administrative tasks such as HR & Payroll, IT infrastructure, and upgrades. I planned directly with the CEO the organization’s business strategies. I decided to start my business. My purpose is to make this level of experience accessible to the start-up and the small business community. Below is a sample of the work we do to help our clients succeed: • Accounting Software Implementation • Budgeting and Forecasting • Business Plans • Corporate Structuring • Corporate Accounting • Estate Planning • Family Office Administration • Financial Statements and Analysis • Financial Audit Preparation • Payroll & HR Support • Policies & Procedures Documentation & Implementation • Pricing Structure & Training • Special Projects • Tax Strategies In summary, CPAs are the “Surgeons for Business” who dissect the business in each of the operating segments and piece together a healthy business that can grow and prosper! And that is exactly what we do at Marie Torossian CPA!
What should our readers know about your business?
What sets me apart is my combined experience as a CPA and a CAO, plus my keen observation of business operations. A little story… when I was about 11 years old, my dad started his first business back in my home country of Lebanon. During wartime, most people were home with no electricity, no TV, etc.… so his business idea was knitting supplies. Think Michaels’ Art supplies store but only for knitting. So, I started working for my dad by cleaning and filling out the shelves with supplies, greeting and assisting customers with their needs, reviewing matching payments, and filing vendor bills, you name it! After that war, the country came back to life, clothing imports increased, and people were no longer interested in knitting. So, my dad had to shift quickly. He scoured the neighborhood and opened a small market & deli. We had traditional deli items, but we also had specialty deli items that no one in the neighborhood offered. Plus, we also made deli sandwiches that no-one else was doing at the time. Therefore, I’ve been exposed to business operations early in my life, which helps me diagnose operational inefficiencies and expose what needs to be fixed. Nothing comes easy in life, but I’ve learned from living in a war-torn country that opportunities come rarely, and when I do see one, I grab it. Starting my business was a childhood dream! Not only did I have to work diligently to achieve my certifications, but I committed long hours of work to get the experiences I needed. I tested the waters as a consultant as a side hustle until it was time I took the risk and gave it my all! I took every possible class to learn all aspects of running my business, including marketing, sales, social media, pricing, software, etc.…. I even learned how to build my website! As entrepreneurs, we do every possible job, and it’s great because we learn to appreciate the work of our team members when we grow! My brand signifies quality and ethical standards in everything we do for our clients. We provide strategic and customized solutions because each client is unique!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’ve had many family members visit us from Canada, France, and some US states. The first place we take them is the tour of the everglades! It’s a must-see for anyone visiting Miami! Then we take them to the see Vizcaya, the Miami Seaquarium, Little Havana, South Beach to Hollywood seaside drive, Bayside…
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Credit goes to God Almighty who has brought many interesting individuals in my life like my family, my husband, my children, my managers and supervisors at Berkowitz Pollack & Brant, my CEO’s Barry Johnson and Alfred Sanchez at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, incredible clients such as Pat DePirro CEO of Birdiebox and James Kunitz CEO of Body FX.